Can you read the sign on the top in all caps? Do you think that the bottom sign is appreciably easier to read than the the top sign?
Perhaps I should ask, do you think that the bottom sign is $27 million dollars better than the one on the top? Yes, that is how much New York City has to pay to replace all their street signs, due to the Federal Highway Administration's claim that this change "improves readability."
Sometimes I think our government has gone mad. Maybe the new signs are a bit better; maybe they aren't. What no one seems to be asking, however, is: could $27 million have been spent somewhere else that would have improved people's lives more than somewhat more readable signs?
Legislation to turn down the volume on loud TV commercials that send couch potatoes diving for their remote controls looks like it'll soon become law.
The Senate late Wednesday unanimously passed a bill to require television stations and cable companies to implement industry standards capping the volume of commercials and equalizing the volume between ads and other programming.
Next November 2nd, see if you can vote for someone whose priorities are a bit distinct from these.
Far from providing an explanation for his criminal activity, Shahzad's history and characteristics strongly militate in favor of the maximum available sentence. Prior to his decision to attempt to kill and maim scores of unsuspecting men, women and children in the heart of New York City, Shahzad had achieved a degree of academic and professional success in the United States and was living a life with his wife and two young children that was full of promise. Before seeking bomb-making training from a terrorist group in rural Pakistan in 2009, Shahzad had lived in the United States for nearly ten years and had taken advantage of an array of opportunities that this country provided. In his early years here, he was permitted to study at a university in Connecticut on a student visa and obtain a college degree. After graduating from college, a U.S. company hired him and agreed to sponsor him, thereby allowing him to remain in the United States on a working visa. And thereafter, a second U.S. company hired him and continued to sponsor him until he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in April 2009. He was paid competitive salaries at both jobs, which permitted him and his family to live comfortably in the suburbs of Connecticut. Notwithstanding this series of opportunities and accomplishments, and the recent births of his two children, Shahzad knowingly and deliberately chose a different path - a nihilistic path that celebrated conflict and death cloaked in the rhetoric of a distorted interpretation of Islam.
Faisal Shahzad, the man who attempted to blow up a vehicle in Times Square and murder as many people as possible, is being sentenced for this crime. This man was welcomed in our country, offered a variety of educational and career options, and he accepted them. Then, instead, he chose a path of destruction.
I am not sure how to combat this type of mind set. All I know is that the "woe is them" excuse doesn't fly.
Who are the 216? Like each of the families in Waiting for Superman, thousands of parents in Washington, D.C., are dying to get their children out of violent and non-functioning local public schools and into alternatives like the Sidwell School that President Obama chooses to send his kids too. One-thousand-seven-hundred low-income D.C. school children have attended private schools with the help of the $7,500 scholarships awarded through this D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program.
In the fall of 2008, 216 new low-income students were notified by the Department of Education that they had been selected to receive scholarships. These kids had their winning lottery tickets in hand. Then President Barack Obama was elected with the help of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. At the behest of Obama’s union allies, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent letters to the 216 families informing them that he was taking back the $7,500 in scholarship money that the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program had previously awarded them. In other words, President Barack Obama tore up their winning lottery tickets.
How can anyone deprive children of a program that works, instead relegating them to a system we know breeds failure?
Nearly half of Americans (48%) say the media are too liberal, tying the high end of the narrow 44% to 48% range recorded over the past decade. One-third say the media are just about right while 15% say they are too conservative.
Gee; I wonder why this is? Could it be because the media is too liberal?
And - little surprise about this, either:
Democrats and liberals remain far more likely than other political and ideological groups to trust the media and to perceive no bias.
The media caters to Democrat ahd liberal beliefs because most of those in the media share them! No wonder they cannot realize their bias when they are so infused with it - and have so little diversity of viewpoint.
We, the undersigned, unconditionally condemn any intimidation or threats of violence directed against any individual or group exercising the rights of freedom of religion and speech; even when that speech may be perceived as hurtful or reprehensible.
We are concerned and saddened by the recent wave of vitriolic anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic sentiment that is being expressed across our nation.
We are even more concerned and saddened by threats that have been made against individual writers, cartoonists, and others by a minority of Muslims. We see these as a greater offense against Islam than any cartoon, Qur’an burning, or other speech could ever be deemed.
We affirm the right of free speech for Molly Norris, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and all others including ourselves.
As Muslims, we must set an example of justice, patience, tolerance, respect, and forgiveness.
Remember this weekend’s “Taliban Dan” ad released by the Alan Grayson campaign in his desperate bid to remain Congress’ most despicable member? The one that shows Daniel Webster repeating a Biblical verse about wives submitting to their husbands, along with another where Webster says “she should submit to me”? Grayson used these clips to accuse Webster of being a terrorist and religious extremist. However, while no one should be surprised that Grayson took the clips out of context, it may surprise people to find out just how out of context they actually were:
So, write a journal. Second, find a verse. I have verses for my wife. Don’t pick the ones that say, uh, “She should submit to me.” That’s in the Bible, but pick the ones that you’re supposed to do. So instead, “Love your wife even as Christ loved the church,” and so on, instead of “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands.” She can pray that if she wants to, but don’t you pray it.
Do watch both videos in the link. Voters should rid themselves of this slime bucket. His words and actions demean those politicians who attempt to be responsible and ethical.
Some people think that virtually all CEO's and high level executives are rich jerks who care little about anyone other than themselves. While no one can deny that some do fall into this category - others do not.
When contemplating a name for my blog, "what if?" struck me and stuck. "What if?" has always been a most meaningful exercise for me. We can go back and examine what happened in time - yet knowing what might have happened had we taken a different path can only be surmised, never known with certainty. The same is true going forward. We can imagine what might happen taking one path, or another, or still a trail somewhere else. Knowing for sure what will happen each way, however, is an impossibility.
Take, for example, the case of Winston Churchill. During the 1930s, he warned the world of the dangers of the rapidly rearming German Reich. The British people ignored Churchill- worse they scorned him, only to learn later that he was all along prescient and wise. But what if Churchill had become Britain's Prime Minister five years earlier and had ordered a pre-emptive strike against Germany? Those same people might have concluded that the Nazis never posed a real threat and that their prime minister was merely a warmonger.
Or consider Harry Truman who, shortly after assuming the presidency in the spring of 1945, had to decide whether to drop America's terrible secret weapon on Imperial Japan. Today, many people, including some Americans, regard the dropping of the atomic bomb on two Japanese cities as an act of unrivaled brutality, but what if Truman had decided otherwise? What if the United States had invaded the Japanese mainland and lost, as the US Army estimated at the time, more than a million GIs? Truman, the decision-maker, was either the butcher of Japanese civilians or butcher of young Americans. Either way he lost.
I have actually used these examples myself. Had Hitler been stopped before the enormity of evil occurred of the Holocaust - well, we would not have really known him as "Hitler," so to speak - and would never have known what might have been and what was stopped. Had Truman not dropped the bomb on Japan, then that horror would not have happened. Still - perhaps a far greater horror would have been in store without it.
We are not perfect beings, able to weigh all the data and know in advance what the conclusion of our actions will be. We can imagine "what if" forever - and only arrive at murky conclusions. Still, decide we must on a myriad of issues.
As a procrastinator of the first order, I often must push myself to finally make a decision - then live with it. We can only imagine so long; eventually, we must choose. In the end, we should appreciate the imperfection of man when a less than ideal result is achieved - and be aware that, whatever the end, it may have been, after all, the best possible.
NEWCASTLE, South Africa — The sheriff arrived at the factory here to shut it down, part of a national enforcement drive against clothing manufacturers who violate the minimum wage. But women working on the factory floor — the supposed beneficiaries of the crackdown — clambered atop cutting tables and ironing boards to raise anguished cries against it.
“Why? Why?” shouted Nokuthula Masango, 25, after the authorities carted away bolts of gaily colored fabric.
She made just $36 a week, $21 less than the minimum wage, but needed the meager pay to help support a large extended family that includes her five unemployed siblings and their children.
Call me crazy. But, seems to me to me these women would prefer to have some income than the state imposed "minimum wages"....
Even as the U.S. Postal Service began sliding into the worst financial crisis in its history, some postal executives in recent years found a way to earn more money by resigning from their jobs and returning as highly paid contractors while doing essentially the same work.
In three recent contracts awarded without competitive bidding, for instance, former Postal Service executives were hired to perform what contracting records described as "knowledge transfer," according to a review of the agency's multibillion-dollar contracting operation by the Postal Service's office of inspector general.
"These contracts were put in place, even though highly experienced postal executives filled the positions vacated by the former executives," the inspector general's office concluded in a report, which was ordered by two senators amid a procurement scandal involving the agency's former top marketing officer.
One former vice president retired in May and within two months received a $260,000 no-bid "knowledge transfer" contract for the postal executive who assumed his old job, the report found.
Overall, the inspector general's office found 17 no-bid contracts awarded to former postal executives within a year of their retirement dates ranging from October 2006 to September 2009.
Citing three of the contracts, the report found the rate was $75 an hour for one former executive and $160 an hour for two others. The fees were between $6 and $72 an hour higher than the hourly rate the executives made at the Postal Service, according to the report.
Do you believe this is a good use of your tax dollars? And how many other instances of abuse like this do you think are littered throughout our government? I shudder to think.
Today the average postal worker makes $83,000 a year in wages and benefits, roughly 50% above the average compensation for private workers, according to federal wage data. Those benefits are already so generous the post office could save $560 million a year if the mailman paid the same 28% share of employee health premiums that other federal employees pay, which is still below the norm in the private economy. Normally when a company is losing $16 billion a year in revenues, unions see the need for concessions.
The heart of any moral system is the connection between action and consequences. Today’s public anger rises from the belief that this connection has been severed in one realm after another.
Financiers send the world into recession and don’t seem to suffer. Neighbors take on huge mortgages and then just walk away when they go underwater. Washington politicians avoid living within their means. Federal agencies fail and get rewarded with more responsibilities.
Do, however, read the entire column. Definitely worth your time.
So often, we hear about regulation that protects us. What we do not so often hear, however, is what the consequences of being "protected" might be. An enormous "what if" of this nature is with drug regulation.
Yes, we can be harmed immensely by drugs that are unsafe. You do not have to teach me this lesson; I am someone who was rendered sterile by a Dalkon Shield - and it almost took my life.
Still - what about all the drugs that do indeed have side-effects, yet they are not life-threatening? Who should decide whether these drugs should be made available to the public, dependent upon consultation between a patient and their physician? How should testing be done? How much risk is too much - and does demanding too low a level of risk present an entirely different set of consequences?
What might the large positives have been had some drugs been allowed?
Sometimes I think I've got a lot of "liberal" in me. Like most liberals, I think that it is important to help others. Not all of us are strong, talented, energetic, healthy, smart, personable... some have problems - big, deep, difficult ones. A just society helps people who truly need it. That is what I believe.
Nevertheless, as I age, more and more I also believe that real help cannot come from the government. We aren't categorized into easy segments of society as "the capable" and the "uncapable." It's not clear. Those who today cannot take care of themselves may be tomorrow's super stars - and vice versa. In addition, a wide variety of factors influence who does well and who does not at any time. One of those factors is motivation - and need.
If the government is there for "cradle to grave" - much of the motivation to do well with our lives is removed. Why should someone work their tail off, scrimp, save, plan, overcome obstacles, etc., etc. - if their reward is not much different from the fellow who puts forth little effort? The answer is - it doesn't make much sense to behave that way when you aren't rewarded.